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P&Z Liberalizes Zoning Rules On Nail Salons

Published: November 23, 2012


    P&Z Liberalizes Zoning Rules On Nail Salons

    By Andrew Gorosko

    In response to a requested zoning rule change, Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) members have liberalized the zoning regulations concerning allowing nail salons within the Aquifer Protection District (APD).

    P&Z members approved the rule revision following a November 15 public hearing.

    In the previous zoning regulations, nail salons were only allowed in the APD provided that a nail salon was linked to both a public water supply and public sanitary sewers. Such a dual public utility linkage has now been dropped as requirement.

    Thus, the zoning rule change would allow an application for a nail salon at Plaza South at 266-276 South Main Street to be submitted for P&Z review.

    Because Plaza South, which is in the APD, is not connected to both public water and public sewers, until the zoning rule change was approved, the plaza was not able to seek permission for a nail salon there. The plaza has a public water supply, but not public sewer service.

    Attorney Peter Scalzo of Bethel, representing the plaza,  sought the zoning rule change.

    George Benson, town director of planning and land use, said that the types of substances now used by nail salons are not as toxic as the substances that were used in the past, noting that salons’ substance handling procedures have improved.

    Mr Benson said that under the revised rules, an applicant for a nail salon within the APD would still need to receive a “special permit” for such a land use from the P&Z.

    Through its “special exception” review process, P&Z members consider requests for special permits for certain types of land uses. The special exception process provides the agency with more discretion in specifying the terms of an approval than is provided through the standard zoning application process. Such special permit applications are subject to P&Z public hearings.

    Engineer Michael Lillis, representing the plaza, explained that if a toxic substance is spilled at a nail salon, there would be a “spill plan” on hand describing what environmental protection steps would need to be taken.

    P&Z Chairman Lilla Dean asked whether the town conducts routine inspections of nail salons.

    Mr Benson responded that no such inspections occur. The town responds to any complaints filed about such businesses, he said.